6.6/10
1,293
54 user 19 critic

Villain (1971)

In 1970s London, Scotland Yard orchestrates the downfall of mob boss Vic Dakin after he crosses the line by blackmailing Members of Parliament.

Director:

Michael Tuchner

Writers:

Dick Clement (screenplay), Ian La Frenais (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Vic Dakin
Ian McShane ... Wolfe Lissner
Nigel Davenport ... Bob Matthews
Donald Sinden ... Gerald Draycott
Fiona Lewis ... Venetia
T.P. McKenna ... Frank Fletcher
Joss Ackland ... Edgar Lowis
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Mrs. Dakin
Elizabeth Knight ... Patti
Colin Welland ... Tom Binney
Tony Selby Tony Selby ... Duncan
John Hallam ... Terry
Del Henney Del Henney ... Webb
Ben Howard Ben Howard ... Henry
James Cossins ... Brown
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dedicated British scientist Dr. Henry Laidlaw Longman (Sir Dirk Bogarde) tests the possibility of brainwashing. If the experiment succeeds, he will stop loving his wife Oonagh (Mary Ure).

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Mary Ure, John Clements
Julie Darling (1983)
Drama | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A teenage girl whose inaction caused her mother's death arranges a similarly gruesome fate for her stepmother and brother.

Director: Paul Nicholas
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Sybil Danning, Isabelle Mejias
Convoy (1940)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A tale of the highs and lows of life protecting the vital convoys between America & England during WWII.

Director: Pen Tennyson
Stars: Clive Brook, John Clements, Edward Chapman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An Army deserter, still a fugitive in Post-War Britain, wanders into a pawn-shop robbery and finds himself wanted for murder. He meets a war widow who helps him elude the police while he ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Huntington
Stars: Joan Hopkins, Derek Farr, Edward Chapman
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Psychological thriller about a telekinetic novelist who causes disasters simply by thinking about them.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Richard Burton, Lee Remick, Lino Ventura
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A man is in radio contact with his family when their airplane is shot down. He wants those responsible and becomes a criminal to get a job as deep sea diver with those salvaging the plane's cargo.

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Barry Newman, Suzy Kendall, John Vernon
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Allied spies and Nazi Agents insinuate themselves at a Scottish cottage (converted to a wartime hospital) with interests on an inventor's nearly perfected bomb sight.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Leslie Banks, Alastair Sim, Jeanne De Casalis
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Michael Craig, Françoise Prévost, Billie Whitelaw
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Deserting soldier dresses as a woman to escape detection; liking the female role he goes to a dance with another soldier and is exposed.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Oliver Reed, Brian Deacon
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The wartime daily routine on a British bomber base in southeastern England is revealed through the eyes of newly arrived Flying Officer Peter Penrose (Sir John Mills).

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

British Commander Max Easton fakes his defection to the Soviets in order to sue the slandering newspapers for the money he needs to woo a fancy American woman.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: James Mason, George Sanders, Vera Miles
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Forsdyke, a pathological petty thief subjects himself to a strict correction course run by a wealthy ex-con Widdowes and his Crooks Anonymous organization. Forsdyke's young and innocent ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Leslie Phillips, Stanley Baxter, Wilfrid Hyde-White
Edit

Storyline

Murderous, sadistic London gang leader Vic Dakin, a mother-obsessed homosexual modeled on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray, is worried about potential stool pigeons that may bring down his criminal empire. The brutal Vic cuts the throat of one bloke who has been a little too loose-lipped, afraid that his gossiping may turn into a grand operatic performance for the coppers. Vic, who enjoys playing at rough trade with his sidekick Wolfe, plans a payroll robbery and directs the blackmailing of Members of Parliament with a taste for unorthodox sex. Scotland Yard Police Inspector Matthews, playing Javert to Vic's Jean Valjean, is moving in on him and the gang. Gang-member Edgar is hospitalized for an ulcer, and Inspector Matthews might be able to make him sing. Will Edgar spill the beans to the coppers before Vic can silence him? Written by Jon C. Hopwood

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You are looking at the face of a Villain. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A sex scene between Richard Burton and Ian McShane was cut from the original theatrical release. See more »

Goofs

There is a clear overdub when Wolfe and Venetia arrive at the country house for the party. As they are walking up the drive they both survey the front of the mansion. Wolfe describes the house as, "fit for a king". Venetia responds, "I bet the bathrooms are freezing", but if you watch her mouth movements closely, she actually completes Wolfe's sentence with the phrase , "or queen" . See more »

Quotes

Vic Dakin: Fancy living here.
Webb: Nice and quiet.
Vic Dakin: Stupid punters. Telly all the week, screw the wife Saturday.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) See more »

User Reviews

One of the Best British Gangster Films
10 July 2002 | by shotguntomSee all my reviews

Michael Tuchner's "Villain" is everything a gangster film should be; tough, violent, grim and filled with loathsome characters who have no redeeming features. The film is clearly influenced by the Krays and does an excellent job of creating a vision of what the real underworld is like, with no comical scenes or foolish characters - the overall tone is ice cold.

The film's plot is pretty familiar with Richard Burton playing Vic Dakin, one of the top crime bosses in London, who is seeking more power through controlling a prominent politician (Donald Sinden) and planning a major robbery.

The film benefits hugely from the casting of Richard Burton in the lead role of Vic Dakin who, like Ronnie Kray, is a gay, mother-fixated psychotic. Although the Welsh Burton does struggle with the Cockney accent, he is totally believable as the character and must be commended for his no-holds-barred performance, which few other Hollywood stars would have dared risk their career on. It is testament to Burton's performance that a former Kray henchman rates it as the most realistic portrayal of a British gangster on screen and very close to what Ronnie Kray was really like. In other words not a very nice man as the film stated at the time - "Meet Vic Dakin, then wish you hadn't."

Why "Villain" has become so forgotten is a mystery. It was made in the same year as "Get Carter" in 1971 but neither film was a hit. However "Get Carter" eventually found a large cult following and is now widely regarded as a British classic. Although "Villain" is one of the top five British gangster films it is not quite in the same league as "Get Carter", "The Long Good Friday" and "Brighton Rock" but it does deserve wider recognition.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 54 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Villain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed